Homemade laundry detergent is one of the easiest switches to make in your household when you want to make less waste and live more naturally. Conventional detergent is full of chemicals, fragrances, and toxic ingredients, which you don’t want next to your skin all day everyday. This recipe saves money and is an easy way to eliminate plastic in your household.

This homemade detergent is great because A. you can control the ingredients, B. all the ingredients come in cardboard so you’re not using any plastic, C. it costs pennies per load and D. you only have to make it once or twice a year depending on your household. A win-win-win if you ask me.

My grandma is the OG when it comes to making everything from scratch. I’ve made a few tweaks to her recipe and came up with my own version that neutralizes smells while washing. This is especially good if have active people in your household or suffer from a mildew-y smell from your front load washer.

DIY Laundry Detergent Ingredients 

All of these ingredients should be available at your local grocery store in the laundry aisle. Check on the shelves lowest or highest up if you’re having trouble spotting them. Less people buy these ingredients so they get less popular shelf areas. You can always buy them online as well.


DIY Laundry Soap Recipe
  • If using Fels Naptha grate the bar of soap so it’s able to be mixed into your powder ingredients. *I’ve made the recipe with and without the Fels Naptha and it seems to work well either way.
  • In a large bowl or container mix all ingredients throughly.
  • Store in a closed container. *The thrift store is especially good for finding clear glass storage containers on the cheap while creating less waste.
  • Use 1-2 tablespoons per load, depending on the size of the load. Splash white vinegar in the fabric softener section with each load to eliminate smells.

Vinegar not only eliminates smells but makes colors brighter and softens clothes without harsh chemicals. Your clothes don’t come out smelling like vinegar, they come out completely neutral. If you’ve been using conventional detergent with fragrances you’ll find the ‘neutral’ smell takes some getting used to because we’re programmed to think the laundry fragrance smell equals ‘clean’. Really it’s made up of a whole bunch of harmful chemicals linked to cancer and lung disease.

You can add essential oils to each load if you feel you need it but I highly suggest giving it time and you’ll notice how strong and over powering the conventional detergents are. Once you start using the homemade detergent it actually takes a few loads for the old fragrances to get out of your clothes, that’s a testament to how strong these chemicals are.


Tag me on instagram if you make your own, I’d love to see!

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